Going to throw out some info real quick to give a quick update on my shovel project and show you how you can really bring some old aluminum back to life.
Im polishing up the rocker boxes by hand. It takes time and elbow grease but its damn worth it and saves the roughly $200 to get them professionally polished.
Go to your local auto parts store and get some wet to dry sandpaper. The grades I used were 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 and 5000. Next, get some real good aluminum billet polish such as Mothers brand.
as you can see, the rocker boxes are 34 years old. This crap wont come off with just a simple polish wheel, its in the metal.
Start with the 600 grit, get it wet and start sanding.
This first sanding might get you scared a bit. Dont worry, just make sure you get a good even sanding. Keep going, stepping up the grades as you go.
The pic above is at roughly 2000 grit stage. As you can see, its getting better. Keep stepping up the grit until you get to at least 2500. Then I finish it off with 5000 for the real fine finish.
Finally finish with the Mothers polish to bring out the shine. I was loosing light by the time I took this pic but as you can still see, its a whole lot better than the original.
I only did the front part of this one rocker box. To really get the job done best, you should probably take the rocker box off the bike and get every nook. That will come next for me.
What methods have you used to get a showcase shine on your old parts?